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Legislative Information - U.S.

Hearings

Congressional committee hearings contain the testimony of government officials and private individuals invited to appear before the committee to argue for or against passage of a bill. Hearings are used to find the range of views and interest groups associated with a bill. Most, but not all, hearings are printed.


The CIS index to publications of the United States Congress [Mugar Reference X Z 1249 F70] abstracts all congressional hearings and prints, arranged by committees; yearly bound volumes index publications by subject, document numbers, bill title, and names of persons involved.

The Legislative History volume tracks the movement of a bill through Congress.  Mugar Memorial Library has the full-text of these publications on microfiche in cabinets in the Current Periodicals Area, arranged by CIS document number. When you find the hearing or committee print you want,  also note its Superintendent of Documents (Sudoc) call number (number beginning Y4). The Boston Public Library is our local depository library for Government documents, and arranges its paper collection by Sudoc number.

 For hearings prior to 1970, use CIS US congressional committee prints index : from the earliest publications through 1969  [Mugar Reference X Z1223.Z7 C66].  

  • These reports have been acquired on microfilm by the Pappas Law Library, and are listed in BULsearch. The location will be the Law Annex , with a call number and reel number given.

 

 

  • Many databases use Boolean Logic for precision searching. Instead of typing assault weapon gun control as key words, you would enter them as terms separated by 'OR". 
     
  • Many databases open with a simple search box, but advanced searching functions are readily available. The example below is the ProQuest Congressional Legislative & Executive Publications box.
     
  • Note that you can specify the types of documents you want (Hearings, CRS Reports, etc.) and limit by date.


After the title, put "Hearing, [date of hearing]."

Cited example

U.S. House. Committee of Ways and Means. Child Care and Child Welfare Hearing, 3 February 1995. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1995. (Y4.W36:104-14)

Committee Prints

Committee Prints aid Members of Congress in their consideration of a bill by providing background information, and are indexed in the same way as hearings. Some of the committee prints are studies conducted by the Congressional Research Service.
 

The CIS index to publications of the United States Congress [Mugar Reference X Z 1249 F70] abstracts all congressional hearings and prints, arranged by committees; yearly bound volumes index publications by subject, document numbers, bill title, and names of persons involved.

The Legislative History volume tracks the movement of a bill through Congress.  Mugar Memorial Library has the full-text of these publications on microfiche in cabinets in the Current Periodicals Area, arranged by CIS document number. When you find the hearing or committee print you want,  also note its Superintendent of Documents (Sudoc) call number (number beginning Y4). The Boston Public Library is our local depository library for Government documents, and arranges its paper collection by Sudoc number.

 For hearings prior to 1970, use CIS US congressional committee prints index : from the earliest publications through 1969  [Mugar Reference X Z1223.Z7 C66].  We do not, however, have full-text of these items. 

  • Most (but not all) of these reports have been acquired on microfilm by the Pappas Law Library, and are listed by study title in our online catalog. The location will be the Law Annex , with a call number and reel number given.

A comprehensive listing of hearings, prints and publications printed by the Senate, 1983 to the present, entitled U.S. Senate Bibliographies, is maintained by the North Caroline State University Libraries.

 

Committee prints are the working papers and reports of committees. The Senate has an official numbering system for them (since 1983), but the House does not.

Examples:

U.S. Senate. Committee on Rules and Administration. Expenditure Authorizations and Requirements for Senate Committees(S.Prt. 112-2). Washington: Government Printing Office, 2011. (Y4.R86/2:S.PRT.112-2).

U.S. House. Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs. National Trails System Act Amendments of 1980. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1980. (Y4.In8/14:T68).

Use the name of the main committee, not the subcommittee. If more than one committee is listed, use the first one. If it is a joint committee of both houses of Congress, then put "U.S. Congress" instead of the individual house and cite the joint committee as in the example below.

Example:

U.S. Congress. Committees on Foreign Relations of the U.S. Senate and the International Relations of the U.S. House of Representative. Annual Report on International Religious Freedom: 2000. Washington: Government Printing Office, 2000.

Congressional Research Service (CRS)

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) serves as shared staff to congressional committees and Members of Congress. CRS experts assist at every stage of the legislative process — from the early considerations that precede bill drafting, through committee hearings and floor debate, to the oversight of enacted laws and various agency activities.

For more information about the functions of this group, see Library of Congress - About CRS

Combine similar terms with 'OR' and use quote marks around phrases:

:

On the results page, limit your search to government documents...

 

 

 

 

 

               ...then limit by date.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Many databases use Boolean Logic for precision searching. Instead of typing assault weapon gun control as key words, you would enter them as terms separated by 'OR". 
     
  • Many databases open with a simple search box, but advanced searching functions are readily available. The example below is the ProQuest Congressional Legislative & Executive Publications box.
     
  • Note that you can specify the types of documents you want (Hearings, CRS Reports, etc.) and limit by date.


For each citation, include:

  • The issuing agency: U.S. Congressional Research Service

  • The title

  • Report number and date

  • Name of the personal author, if provided

  • Database name (Text from: Congressional Research Digital Collection)

  • Web service name (Available from: LexisNexis® Congressional)

  • Date accessed by the user (Accessed: date)

Note:  Report number must include date of issuance because CRS reports are frequently issued in multiple iterations


Example:

U.S. Congressional Research Service. Afghanistan: Current Issues and U.S. Policy (RL30588; Oct. 7, 2003), by Kenneth Katzman. Text in: LexisNexis® Congressional Research Digital Collection; Accessed: December 10, 2005.

BU LIbraries